Sermon preached at St Mary Magdalene Hucknall on 18th February
First Sunday of Lent: Genesis 9.8-17 & Mark 1.9-15
Today is the first Sunday of Lent, the season in which Christians, as individuals and as a Church prepare to celebrate the Easter feast. Through fasting and self-denial; prayer and the study of Scripture; through worship and our daily acts, we try to align ourselves once more with God’s purpose for us.
This morning, we hear two readings that both explain to us what that purpose, God’s purpose for us, may be, so it is worth having a closer look at both of them, and to see how this may apply to us in our daily lives. And so, as we go through these texts, I’d like you to keep the question in mind: What am I for? What is my purpose? Or, most accurately, what is God’s purpose for me?
Continue reading “What am I for?”
Sermon preached at St James’s Cherhill 11 February 2018
Sunday next before Lent: Mark 9.2-9 & 2 Kings 1.2-12
On the last Sunday before Lent, traditionally we hear the story of the Transfiguration, this year in the version from Mark’s Gospel. The Transfiguration is recorded by Luke, Mark and Matthew as well as alluded to in the Second Letter of Peter. Some even argue that the famous words in John’s Gospel The Word became flesh and dwelt among us refer to this very event.
When we look a little bit closer at the story, we see that it is building up to a climax. First of all, there are only three disciples – Peter, James and John – who go up to the mountain with Jesus. This select company already points to the fact that something special is about to happen, and so does their journey up the mountain.
Continue reading “Transformative Faithfulness”
A further reflection on words, based on a sermon preached at St George’s Preshute on the Second Sunday before Lent.
Those of us who follow the Church of England lectionary, hear once more the famous words of the beginning of John’s Gospel: The Word was made flesh and lived among us. It was not that long ago that we heard the same reading read on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning, and many of us will associate these famous words about the Word becoming flesh indeed with Christmas celebrations. Continue reading “When time and eternity meet”
A sermon preached at Marlborough College on 28th January 2018
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple: Luke 2.22-40
Friday evening has always been my favourite evening of the week. Before I was a vicar, it meant it was the beginning of the weekend. When I became a vicar, it meant the only evening without meetings or sermons to write. And when I joint the College, it became my duty evening in New Court, on of the girls’ boarding houses. Certainly aided by the Housemistress’s hospitality and a glass of wine, I really enjoy the range of conversations you girls have in your houses, and the way in which you let tutors share in them. Continue reading “Wait, trust and see”
The Wedding at Cana: God’s glory revealed
Sermon preached at St Mary’s Calstone 21 January 2018: Epiphany 2 John 2:1-11
This morning we hear about Jesus’ first miracle: turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. It is the first of seven miraculous signs told by John, and the only one unique to his Gospel account. That fact made can make us wonder: why would one have changing water into wine as a first miracle? Why use this specific story to start the revelation God’s glory made known in the person of Jesus?
One reason may be that it was historically the first miracle Jesus did. But why is it then not recorded in the other Gospels? I think more important than the historical question if it really was the first miracle Jesus performed, are the many theological undertones of the story. And maybe the first thing we need to do is to see where it fits in to John’s Gospel.
Continue reading “God’s glory revealed”
A sermon preached at Sherborne Abbey at the Sherborne School Service
Second Sunday of Epiphany: John 1.43-51
When I was coming towards the end of my time at school, I was thinking what to study. The options were: medicine, theology or physics. So, as you do, I went to visit some open days. Medicine was quickly removed as an option, as it required a lot of group work: something I didn’t really see myself doing at the time. Theology sounded interesting, but visiting the university’s open day, the second youngest student was in her 40s, so it didn’t promise a vibrant student life.
Continue reading “Come and See!”
A homily for the First Sunday after Christmas on New Year’s Eve
I don’t know if it’s just me, but at this time of year, with the endless lists of the past year being published, I find it very hard not to start measuring myself against the achievements of others. What may have been a healthy reflection on who I am, becomes an unhelpful realisation of all the things I have not achieved yet and probably will never do.
Continue reading “A New Year’s Reflection”